Earlier this year I mentioned to my therapist some jobs I had back in the 90's. I've been in therapy with her for 10 years and never thought to mention it. She stared at me like I had two heads and said that given my symptoms combined with those fields of work, I had PTSD. I also had some personal situations as a child and older teen that I now realise have contributed to that as well.
My life is really good. The best it's ever been. So why do I drink? It's in part to alleviate the high level of "on" that I experience. I am constantly on high alert. It's not "if" something dangerous will happen, it's "when". I see dangers that other people don't and I'm constantly scanning consciously and unconsciously for trouble. People say things like "I believe people at heart are good and we are safe." I'm like, omg people are monsters are you kidding me. When people say to me "well most of the world isn't suffering and there is more good than bad out there so why focus on the bad?", that to me is the kind of thing you tell children to sooth them, not the kind of reality any sensible adult lives with.
If I lived in the US, I'd be one of those people with a house full of weapons. I'd live in an open carry state, make no mistake.
I think about my previous work all the time. I did regular work for a long time, and now I am back in a field related to my previous work doing logistical/administrative support and it's the only time since that I have felt normal and like I fit in. Back when I was doing that work, no one really knew or understood how it could affect you. Now, we have counsellors and and a staff psychiatrist available to "front line" staff and to anyone else who needs to talk. It's a world of difference. I can't do a normal job and fit in with normal people.
I have had a few years of sobriety in the past and I am hoping that now understanding that I have PTSD and dealing effectively with it is the missing piece in being able to stay sober.
I'm interested in hearing from other people who have dealt with PTSD in recovery.